James M. Lyons

James M. Lyons

jlyons@lrrc.com vCard
303.623.9222 fax
1200 Seventeenth Street
Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202

"Retains his reputation as a go-to lawyer for a range of issues including insurance disputes, IP litigation and securities litigation. He is also noted for his arbitration practice and has handled a range of disputes including international commercial matters." - Chambers USA

Jim Lyons focuses his practice on complex business ‎litigation, mediation and arbitration of all types, including corporate, securities, ‎insurance law, and crisis management. He has more than 40 years of courtroom ‎and jury trial experience in state and federal courts. Jim also has ‎extensive government relations, and international trade and ‎diplomatic experience from his work in Ireland and the United ‎Kingdom as Special Advisor to the President, and Secretary of State ‎for Economic Initiatives in Northern Ireland and the border counties ‎of the Republic of Ireland.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; Colorado State Chair, 2004-2006
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Ireland's Honorary Consul/Denver, 2009-present
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2011-2012
  • Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System IAALS University of Denver, Advisory Board
  • Colorado Denver and Illinois Bar Associations, Member
  • Member of the AAA and ICDR Roster of Neutrals, Panel of Arbitrators, and Panel of Mediators
  • National Association of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Doyle's Inn Chapter of the American Inns of Court, Master Barrister
  • Board of Trustees, Regis University, 1999-2008; 2012-Present
  • Advisory Board, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
  • Advisory Board, Center for Dependency Addiction and Recovery, University of Colorado Hospital

Representative Matters

Arbitration and ADR Experience

In the past five years, Mr. Lyons has served as a sole arbitrator or arbitration panel chair or member in 35 major arbitrations, including international commercial disputes. These have included disputes over intellectual property, royalties, commissions, mergers, acquisitions, and distributions, as well as insurance coverages, shareholder rights and claims from real estate development interests. Mr. Lyons also has served as a court-appointed mediator and has been selected by the AAA and by counsel for private litigants in numerous cases facing imminent trial.

Recent Litigation Experience

Recent clients include The Anschutz Corporation, the City and County of Denver, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, HealthOne, Rocky Mountain Health Care (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and New Mexico), STET, Qwest Communications, Tracinda Corporation. 

  • Lead trial counsel for a major Colorado school district in defense of statutory and constitutional challenges to its school voucher program. After an adverse 4-3 decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, the case was successfully appealed by the school district to the United States Supreme Court which granted certiorari, vacated the judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court and remanded the matter for further consideration in light of Trinity Lutheran. After a change in the composition of the elected school board, the case was then dismissed as moot.
  • Served as independent counsel and lead litigation counsel to independent members of the Board of Directors of Qwest Communications in civil and regulatory matters and for the merger Qwest/Century Link.
  • Served as independent counsel to the Board of Trustees of Colorado State University and as Acting General Counsel to Colorado State University.
  • Lead counsel for the City and County of Denver in federal court litigation brought by the ACLU and organizations claiming infringement of First Amendment rights for parade routes, permits and public demonstration areas for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Case was tried to judgment in favor of the City on all issues.
  • Lead trial counsel for the principal defendant in one of the largest CERCLA/Superfund cases in the United States, United States and State of Colorado v. Friedland et al., Civil Action No. 96-N-1213, United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Summitville Mine, Del Norte, Colorado). Case was favorably settled with the U.S. and Colorado state governments.
  • Lead defense counsel for the City and County of Denver in multiple securities class actions involving the public issuance of more than $3 billion of Denver International Airport bonds (case dismissed).
  • Representation, advice and strategic counseling to boards of directors, independent directors, and board committees of public companies in connection with securities litigation, class actions, and regulatory and compliance investigations. Also representation of hospital boards and non-profit health care insurance entities in connection with asset sales, conversion to for-profit status, and formation of foundations to receive proceeds. Related representations include matters involving D&O liability and D&O insurance carriers.
  • Pro Bono co-lead counsel for a group of Colorado state prisoners with untreated hepatitis C. Federal court settlement resulted in a state of the art treatment protocol.

Related News

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Recognized by Chambers USA 2018
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie announces 22 attorneys and seven practice areas are recognized by Chambers USA 2018
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Named Southwest Litigation Firm of the Year by Benchmark Litigation
Nineteen of the firm's attorneys are listed as "Star" litigators in the 2018 edition
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Earns ‘Highly Recommended' Ranking From Benchmark Litigation
20 attorneys recognized in peer-reviewed annual guide to top U.S. litigation firms
Partners honored as Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers
85 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys in The Best Lawyers in America 2018
Attorneys, practices earn recognition in Chambers USA 2017
Rankings reflect research findings based on client and peer feedback
83 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys named in ‘Best Lawyers'
11 partners also honored as ‘Lawyer of the Year' in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017
Chambers USA recognizes Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys
Annual rankings reflect law firm's focus on client service, value, commitment to excellence
Lewis Roca Rothgerber earns accolades in Benchmark Litigation rankings
Law firm ‘Highly Recommended' with 20 ‘Star' attorneys in guide of top U.S. litigation firms
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Attorney James M. Lyons Authors Book on the Northern Ireland Peace Process
Peace Meets the Streets: On the Ground in Northern Ireland, 1993-2001 Chronicles the Work of Lyons during a Critical Period in Irish History


Mr. Lyons is a frequent lecturer on the Northern Ireland peace process and current affairs in Ireland.



  • The Best Lawyers in America - “Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year” for Denver - Arbitration, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense–White Collar, and Mediation, 2010, 2016-2021
  • University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland - Honorary Doctorate of Law (LL.D.) - "In recognition of his service to peace & the people of Northern Ireland", 2002
  • Colorado Super Lawyers - Top Ten, 2006-2019; Top Vote Getter, 2012; 2006-2020
  • 5280 [The Denver Magazine] - "Top Lawyers" List, 2020
  • St. Thomas More Award - Catholic Lawyers Guild of Colorado - Northern Ireland peace process, 1998
  • Learned Hand National Award - American Jewish Committee, 1998
  • Law Week Colorado - "Best Arbitrator", 2011 "Lawyer of the Decade", 2010-2011
  • Corporate INTL Magazine - "Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney of the Year" in Colorado, 2014
  • Colorado Super Lawyers Cover - Featured cover story - "The Gold Standard - How Jim Lyons Helped Bring Peace to Northern Ireland.", 2007
  • Chambers USA - 2013 Top Band - Commercial Litigation, 2013-2020
  • Benchmark Litigation - "Local Litigation Star" in Colorado, 2016-2021
  • Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Inaugural) Leadership Award, 2010
  • DePaul University College of Law - Outstanding Alumnus, 2011

Other Info


J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1971
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1968

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 1971

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
Colorado Supreme Court
Colorado Court of Appeals
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court, Colorado
U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois